That Crazy Novel Challenge Again


Hello all,

I’m doing NaNoWriMo 2018! Been plugging away on my document and updating my word count on social media and on the challenge’s website. Same rules. Write a novel (it can be non-fiction, fiction, a compilation of short stories or essays) in 30 days, achieving a 50,000 word count.

I have 14,365 words so far. Today, being November 9th I need to hit 15,000!

I think this is doable. My book is coming along well, mainly because I am drawing out a scene where my protagonist is attending a lavish party only to distract her host (the current planetary governor) and break into his safe.

Good time!

I’ll continue to update my word progress. It keeps me accountable.



Is it spring yet?

Hello all,

I haven’t written in awhile for two…okay maybe three main reasons.

#1: I had the opportunity to travel for work from the end of December until just last week, training another employee in the company. It was a long time to be away from home (except for snatches over the weekends), but in the end enjoyable.

I was working in Ashland, Wisconsin. For those of you who have never heard of the city, it is highly industrial, but has a beautiful view of Lake Superior along much of State Hwy. 2 running through the city. It sports ancient buildings dating from the 1800s, cool town houses (decked out with wooden trim, lighthouse turrets and cozy looking porches) some standing tall and strong, some thinking about falling down, and a sprawling layout of shops, businesses, and even an old university.

#2: I hit a wall of cabin fever. Happens to most of us in the winter, and some years are worse for me than others. I was rather glad for the distraction of traveling for work to break up some of the monotony of winter, however, the gloomy feeling of cobwebs clouding my head does not help my writing mood.

#3: I watched “Star Wars the Last Jedi” and turned into a nerd. Yep, a full-blown nerd. As part of this winter, I’ve been binge watching my favorite action movies (all of the Star Wars one, lots of Marvel ones) and with that comes oodles of fan fiction! (Is “oodles” even a word anymore?) I’m terribly infected with the fan fic bug. Not sure if I am brave enough to actually post some of the spin off stories I’ve written, but since I have begun to push some of those writings on my friends and family, I suppose the words don’t want to stay put and must come out.

Here’s a massive snow mountain that is dominating my office’s parking lot. It’s half as tall as the electric line poles!

massive pile of snow

What has everyone else been up to this winter? Think spring!


I Made It

Hello all,

Well, although I haven’t updated this blog in a while, I DID end up winning my National Novel Writing Challenge on November 29th, 2017, with a day to spare! The robot program who counted my word total on the NaNoWriMo website nearly gave me a heart attack when, after pasting my novel from Microsoft Word, it said I was still 300 words short! So I had to write a bit more, and try again. Not a hard task. My characters have been sitting in limbo for a couple of weeks now, as I am taking a much needed break from the writing process for the holidays.

This does not mean that in January I won’t be back in full swing, working on my novel again. There is so much room for improvements. But I am looking forward to playing with my 3 protagonists again. They are a weird mix of characters.

Happy Holidays and Merry Christmas


The Final Countdown

Like the 80’s band ‘Europe’ sang, it’s the final countdown.

Many of the talented writers participating in this year’s NaNoWriMo challenge have already finished and claimed their win. I feel a swell of pride for them.

Borrowing an idiom: I am SO close I can taste it! Today I wrote a great chunk of words. My characters are finally behaving and working together, (although the tension between them makes for delightful moments of conflict too) and they’ve arrived in a new galaxy. This makes it easy to pour out words, describing what they are seeing and doing in the story.

After finishing writing today, I have 48,011 words.


Halfway There.

Well, yesterday being November 15th, the NaNoWriMo contest suggested that we all be at 25,000 words.

I was about 500 words behind, but I typed for a good 3 hours and got back on track. Today I’m happy to announce that I have 26,873 words.

This is quite a fun challenge so far! Not only are my creative juices flowing as I get to know my characters and live with them so closely, but this project also makes me write every day.

Good luck to everyone else who is doing this challenge!


8,563 and Counting

Yep, my progress so far in the National Novel Writing Month challenge: 8,563 words. Although I’m not using the smallest font or size in Microsoft Word, my writing so far is comprised of three looooooooong chapters. As a reader, I personally like to see a writer use smaller chapters, so these long ones I am intentionally creating bother me.

That fact, along with spell checker, new ideas constantly distracting my head, and character dialog changes is tempting me to go back through my novel from page one and start reworking it. It may be some level of OCD kicking in too, but from what I’ve read, the opinion by past NaNoWriMo participants that I should resist the urge to edit as I go, or I’ll never get to the 50,000 word mark.

So today, I continue to write while grappling with the mess that is my draft taunting me every time I shrink and restore my Word doc.

C’est la vie, right?



4th Day and All is Well

It’s the fourth day of the NaNoWriMo challenge, and I’m updating from my local library. This fine (and snowy) Saturday brings a Write In from 10:00AM to 1:00PM and I intend to take full advantage of this cozy event.

I began my challenge using the traditional NaNoWriMo way of starting a brand new novel (no cheating) and I began writing at 8:00PM on November 1st.

Although I was itching to write all day, I had to work my full work shift, and the 1st also happened to fall on a Wednesday (gym day) so I attended my local Zumba class too, not to break with tradition.

Today my word count is 4,787. I feel exhilarated and I am having no trouble putting words on the page (Microsoft Word doc) so far. I’m prepared for those darkly rumored writer’s blocks by having a notebook holding my jotted down plot, key character names, and a hastily sketched map of the universe I have created.

My hope is that some of this advance preparation will keep me on track as I race to 50,000 words.

For those of you doing the NaNoWriMo challenge this year too, feel free to comment! Let’s encourage each other!

Happy writing,



Challenge Accepted

Hello anyone out there,

November is approaching, in a couple of days. Why do I care? I am going to sign up for the NaNoWriMo challenge this year. Yes, it’s National Novel Writing month in November. It’s time for me to stop ruminating ideas and start writing again. I aim to finish the challenge of 50,000 words, of course, but if I do not, at least this will be a personal exercise in writing and I could gain some valuable experience and support along the way. There’s no possibility of wining if I do not even try.

This will be my first attempt at the NaNoWriMo challenge. Last year I made other, practical excuses and talked myself out of it, and the year before that I imagined college classes would interfere with my writing progress. Now it is time to jump in with both feet.

Marissa Meyer (author of the YA series “Cinder”) took this challenge, according to an article I read on Bustle. How Do You Win NaNoWriMo?  Alongside Meyer, Sara Gruen’s cumulative November NaNo challenges ended up becoming “Water for Elephants”.  Why do I care? If real authors (and by that I mean published authors), are taking this challenge to improve themselves, to have fun, or for whatever other reasons they have, then I want to join the community. And I want to be a part of this daunting challenge, encouraging others, gaining knowledge, and hashing through the creative process.

I will update with more details. Until then, write on!


Had an Adventure

Hello all,

I haven’t updated this blog in a few weeks mainly because I spent a vacation in Arizona!

I visited lots of family members and went to see the Grand Canyon. It was honestly a beautiful day for the Canyon, so clear that the opposite rim could be viewed. Guide information pointed out that due to massive air pollution drifting over from California and Colorado, some days the Canyon is so hazy it cannot be viewed.

I’ll include a few pictures in here for those of us who love to travel by living vicariously through others!

– RLYgirlIMG_20170921_103058.jpgIMG_20170921_111205.jpgIMG_20170921_161019.jpg

Words of Wisdom Found

Today I was browsing around the vast, world wide web, and I stumbled on a fellow writer, Hannah Heath.

She has a great post that a lot of writers can relate to, I think. Read it here

Hannah points out that aspiring authors shouldn’t stress so hard about writing their first book and getting it out there. If I were to push a carelessly drafted novel out to publishers, I should expect negative results.

Great read, really inspiring!